The automotive world is all topsy-turvy these days. Everyone owns everyone and no one owns themselves. It’s about to get a little more crowded (or a little less, depending on your perspective), because there’s a very good chance that General Motors, the world’s largest carmaker, is going to buy the Chrysler Group from DaimlerChrysler. This would mean that GM would be adding Dodge, Jeep, and of course Chrysler to their ever-expanding stable of brands. The next time you ask a Cobalt or Cadillac driver whether their car has a HEMI in it, the answer just might be yes.

A Merrill Lynch analyst is saying that this is a “defensive maneuver” on the part of GM in that they are trying to protect their position as the automaker with the greatest worldwide volume. Toyota — when you include their subsidiaries like Hino, Scion and Lexus — is currently the number two carmaker, but their numbers are very quickly approaching number one status. GM is scared, I guess, that they’re on the cusp of being de-throned.

Personally, I don’t like it. GM has enough brands already and adding three more to the bunch can only make things more confusing. Hummer and Jeep clearly overlap with one another. And then there’s the matter of the Dodge Viper vs. Chevy Corvette. In fact, there’s a lot of overlap, so GM may not be buying as much extra market share as they may want to believe.

No other party has expressed interest in buying the sinking ship known as the Chrysler Group. Hyundai denied rumors. It seems that if DaimlerChrysler wants to dump off the second half of their name, GM is the one and only customer willing to blow $13 billion on the acquisition.

Oh, and to follow-up on my earlier comment above about everyone owning everyone… the Audi R8 is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Tesla Roadster is based on the Lotus Elise, and the Mazda CX-7 is virtually identical to the Ford Edge. Where’s the originality?